Once a tiny fishing village unknown to the rest of the world, Hurghada took on a growth explosion thanks to tourism in the 1980s and nowadays is one of Egypt’s most popular Red Sea resorts. In reality, the Hurghada of today comprises three main centres and numerous self-contained tourist villages. To the north, lies El-Dahar, which hosts more than half of the total local population and some of Hurghada’s more expensive hotels, restaurants and the tourist bazaar. A couple of kilometres south, between El-Dahar and New Hurghada lies Sigala, perhaps less popular than El-Dahar. Still further south is New Hurghada where there is a concentration of up market hotels and restaurants.
With pristine white beaches and impossibly beautiful turquoise water, which laps gently at the shore, it is little wonder that Hurghada has sky-rocketed in popularity. With recent unrest in the Middle East region, the number of travellers to Egypt has dipped, but things are on the up again. Visitors to Hurghada will be reassured to know that the government has dramatically ramped up security measures, making Hurghada, and other traveller hotspots, safer than ever.
There are dozens of activities here for travellers who like a bit of adventure but by far and away the most popular of them all is diving. Situated on the coast of the Red Sea, Hurghada is home to some of the most stunning reefs and marine life in the world. It also helps that the water is bath temperature and crystal clear, giving swimmers top notch visibility. If you prefer to keep your feet on terra firma, a trip to the bazaar in El-Dahar or a camel ride through the desert should keep you suitably entertained.
Hurghada become (mainly since the early 1990) more popular with East European and Russian tourists. Being a modern town, Hurghada lacks any historical or noteworthy sites.
Hurghada is one of the main tourism attractions on the Red Sea in Egypt. Because of that, it can be reached from major airports in Europe and the Middle East.
Over the last ten years the citizens of Hurghada have seen an amazing development. From desert sand has risen a town with more than 200 hotels, booming shopping promenades and vibrant nightlife. With ever growing number of tourist and perfect climate, this Red Sea Riviera has no off season. Hurghada has a special community where local habits and culture is presented next to resort lifestyle and behavior.
But the biggest beauty of Hurghada starts where coast ends – blue Red Sea is the reason why your dreams will stay with us. If it takes place in or on the water you can do it here: windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming, but above all, snorkeling and diving. The unique underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world, justifiably famous amongst divers. The warm waters here are ideal for many varieties of rare fish and coral reefs, which may also be observed through glass bottom boats.
The huge advantage of the Red Sea is that visitors can enjoy the beauty of the marine world equipped with nothing more than a mask, snorkel and flippers. The spectacle is of course even more impressive when wearing a tank and weight belt.
Close to Hurghada you will find many of Egypt’s top tourist attractions and most impressive resorts. A particularly favourite is Sharm el Sheikh, which lies alongside the Gulf of Aqaba and is famous for its scuba diving and sandy beaches, while on the south-western side of Hurghada, the provincial capital of Qena contains a particularly impressive temple complex. Also within reach of Hurghada, the city of Luxor is without equal and full of awe-inspiring monuments, such as the Valley of the Kings.
Hurghada Information :
- Country: Egypt
- Location: east coast / Red Sea coast
- Status: town / resort
- Population: approximately 50,000
- Language: Arabic
- Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
- Time zone: 2 hours ahead of GMT / UTC
- Country dialing code: +20
- Telephone area code: 065
- Religion: predominantly Muslim, remaining Coptic Christian
- Average daily Hurghada January temperature: 19°C / 66°F
- Average daily Hurghada July temperature: 40°C / 104°F
Arriving to Hurghada
Hurghada International and Domestic Airport, 10 minutes ride from city center, is receiving many flights through out the year. Most common are charter flights to Hurghada, which you can check out from your travel agent. Increasingly, regular flights are operating.
Before planning your holiday, check out the entry regulations. In some cases visa must be applied for from local embassy. However, for most of the nations, touristic visa can be easily obtained upon arrival from airport – either it is included in your travel package or you shall buy one from airport bank (ca 15 USD). The visa is valid for 30 days and can be prolonged for extra charge in Visa office located in El Dahar. Be aware that after stay of 90 days no charter flight is allowed for departure!
Upon arrival all passengers are given entry forms which must be filled for the passport control. Same applies to departure. Make sure that the passport is valid for at least six months from date of entry.
From other cities of Egypt
For domestic flight, ferry and bus routes please check the transportation paragraph.
The city of Hurghada is divided into three areas- Sheraton Road, El Dahar and the Promenade.
1- Sheraton Road (El Sakala)
Sheraton road or El Sakala center is the main tourist street in town. It is the busiest street in town with numerous bazaars, coffee shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, restaurants and night clubs. You will find many hotels on the sea side of Sakala. Across the street are situated apartments for locals and foreigners living here (especially Hadaba). Sakala square is located in the one end of the main street. Here you will find many fish restaurants and local eateries. From the beginning of Sakala in a walking distance you will find an El Arousa square – a bride or mermaid standing in the middle of the road. The street to the sea side will lead you to Hurghada Marina – the new city promenade by the marina with luxury yachts and apartments surrounded by old fisherman households. Opened in 2008, one will find in Marina many shops (incl. some high street brands), fabulous bars, fine dining restaurants, nightclubs or just nice walking area for warm summer nights.
2- The Promenade (Village Road)
The second famous touristic area is called Village road (El Memsha in Arabic). More than 5 km long promenade with wide and clean walking area, mainly 4 stars hotels, famous nightclubs, restaurants with international cuisine, some mall-type shopping centers and uncountable number of shops. For a first acquaintance with Hurghada, Village road is more peaceful and less harassment for tourist than one will experience in Sakala area, but therfore as well reflects much less local culture and lifestyle than any other parts of the town. Famous spots in Village road include Esplanada Mall, Kottas mall, Duty free shop, Little Buddha nightclub and Hard Rock café.
3- El Dahar
And then there is l eft El Dahar. Dahar is home for most of the locals living in the area, but as well for number of hotels, city council, aquarium, library, biggest mosques and food market. In Dahar one will find touristic and not so touristic areas, although until now, most of the areas are safe enough to sneak around and discover the other face of Hurghada. If interested in shopping, Dahar offers you streets full of bazaars and good bargains.